This porridge-like dish of rice is popular in many Asian countries for breakfast and for dinner. Congee can be served plain as a side dish, or, as we’ve done here, served with meat to make a more substantial meal.
- 105 g (¾ cup) unskinned peanuts
- 150 g dried salted fish (see Note)
- 165 g (¾ cup) medium-grain rice
- 2.5 litre chicken stock or water
- 2½ tbsp very thinly shredded ginger
- 400 g piece pork neck
- 750 ml (3 cups) vegetable oil
- 6 wonton wrappers, cut into 5 mm strips
- coriander sprigs, thinly sliced spring onions and chilli oil (see Note), to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
Soak peanuts in cold water overnight.
The next day, drain peanuts, then soak dried fish in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain.
Combine fish, peanuts, rice, stock, ginger and pork in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour, then remove fish and set aside to cool. Cook congee for a further 30 minutes or until pork is very tender. Remove pork and set aside to cool. Cook congee, stirring occasionally, for a further 1 hour or until rice is soft and falling apart and the mixture has thickened.
Meanwhile, remove fat and gristle from pork and thinly slice. Remove skin and bones from fish and flake flesh into small pieces.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, deep-fry wonton strips for 20 seconds or until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
When congee is ready, stir in pork and fish. Add a little extra stock or water to thin congee if necessary. Divide among large bowls, scatter over fried wonton skins, coriander, spring onion and serve drizzled with chilli oil.
• Dried salted fish and chilli oil are available from Asian food shops.
Photography by Ben Dearnley. Food preparation by Leanne Kitchen. Styling by Justine Poole.
As seen in Feast magazine, February 2015, Issue 39.